BCS standings released, Week 15: Ohio State vs. Auburn the final rankings debate

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With one week to go before the BCS rankings leave us forever, an undefeated Big Ten power missing out on the national championship is somehow an actual worry. Meanwhile, Florida State's sitting pretty. Full standings below.

It doesn't matter that Ohio State went 12-0 last year. It doesn't matter that an unbeaten Auburn was shut out of the BCS National Championship in 2004. It doesn't matter that Ohio State has lost two national title games against SEC teams in recent years. It doesn't matter that the SEC has won seven straight championships.

Or at least it shouldn't.

What will matter, however, is whether the BCS polls and computers rank Ohio State or Auburn No. 2 next week, assuming the Buckeyes and (burnt orange and navy blue) Tigers win their respective conferences. We'd thought we were just about done with the season's series of debates over which team should rank No. 2 and which should rank No. 3, but we've only just now arrived at the biggest one yet.

For now, the updated BCS standings after Week 14's wild weekend:

BCS Harris Poll Coaches Poll Computer rankings
Rank Team Avg. Prev. Rank Points % Rank Points % AVG A&H RB CM KM JS PW %
1 Florida State .9948 2 1 2617 .9970 1 1546 .9974 1 1 1 4 2 1 1 .990
2 Ohio State .9503 3 2 2488 .9478 2 1462 .9432 2 2 2 2 1 3 2 .960
3 Auburn .9233 4 3 2422 .9227 3 1437 .9271 3 3 3 1 3 6 3 .920
4 Alabama .8539 1 4 2262 .8617 4 1333 .8600 4 5 4 8 4 7 4 .840
5 Missouri .8428 5 5 2231 .8499 5 1315 .8484 5 4 5 3 7 8 5 .830
6 Oklahoma State .7629 7 6 2083 .7935 6 1248 .8052 9 8 7 9 15 5 11 .690
7 Stanford .7069 8 7 1873 .7135 10 1034 .6671 7 7 6 6 8 10 9 .740
8 South Carolina .7037 10 8 1841 .7013 7 1100 .7097 8 10 10 7 10 4 7 .700
9 Baylor .6623 9 9 1778 .6773 7 1100 .7097 12 9 8 11 13 12 12 .600
10 Michigan State .6529 11 10 1758 .6697 9 1037 .6690 11 12 13 10 9 11 8 .620
11 Arizona State .5833 12 13 1277 .4865 13 765 .4935 6 6 11 5 6 9 6 .770
12 Oregon .5321 13 12 1398 .5326 12 843 .5439 13 11 14 12 12 15 14 .520
13 Clemson .5201 6 11 1444 .5501 11 853 .5503 14 16 12 15 14 16 13 .460
14 Northern Illinois .4812 14 15 1104 .4206 18 547 .3529 10 18 9 13 5 2 10 .670
15 LSU .4213 17 14 1258 .4792 14 720 .4645 17 20 18 19 16 18 17 .320
16 UCF .3858 19 18 967 .3684 17 572 .3690 16 15 15 16 19 14 16 .420
17 Oklahoma .3808 18 16 1041 .3966 15 660 .4258 17 14 16 17 25 20 19 .320
18 UCLA .3506 22 19 779 .2968 19 473 .3052 15 13 19 14 11 17 15 .450
19 Louisville .2630 20 17 1013 .3859 16 625 .4032 28 NR 17 NR NR NR NR .000
20 Duke .2252 24 20 620 .2362 20 402 .2594 21 24 20 18 NR 19 23 .180
21 Wisconsin .1988 15 21 485 .1848 21 266 .1716 20 21 22 21 18 13 20 .240
22 Georgia .1143 NR 25 148 .0564 NR 41 .0265 19 19 NR 20 17 21 18 .260
23 Fresno State .1006 16 22 428 .1630 22 215 .1387 28 NR NR NR NR NR NR .000
24 Texas A&M .0995 21 23 290 .1105 25 121 .0781 23 NR 24 25 22 22 21 .110
25 Texas .0666 NR 24 167 .0636 24 149 .0961 25 22 21 NR NR NR NR .040

The numbers show a thin margin between Ohio State and Auburn as it is. And that's before next Saturday -- if both teams win, the Tigers will hold a significant advantage in the BCS computers, as Missouri's considered a more impressive team than Ohio State's opponent, Michigan State, is.

A win by either the Spartans or the other Tigers would render all this moot (except for Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs suddenly becoming a huge Mizzou* fan, we trust).

* Though Missouri would have a better case for No. 2 than Auburn would, if you ask me, since the (black and gold) Tigers have spent most of the year smashing fools by exorbitant margins. But nobody's asking me. Mizzou's probably too far back to jump that far, barring insanity.

If our new Nos. 2 and 3 win their conferences, the polls would be where Florida State finds its Pasadena opponent. While many voters would fall back on the SEC's presumed strength of schedule and difficulty (and most strength of schedule numbers do rate Auburn's as tougher so far), others would sympathize with a 13-0 BCS conference champion that was ineligible last year. At the moment, the Buckeyes hold that advantage, and would any voters who were unconvinced by an Auburn win over Alabama really be swayed by one over Missouri?

The difference could be Urban Meyer, who's successfully stumped his team into a BCS National Championship before -- and that was an SEC team at the expense of a Big Ten team. But do voters still think of Meyer as they did then? Whether Meyer's national profile has changed since '06 due to various controversies would actually matter. Like, actually help determine the season's champion. That's insane and ridiculous, but it's the system.

We don't know whether Auburn or Ohio State would win the right to go play FSU if the two played on a neutral field. We don't have a playoff yet, not for 12 more months. We do know the Buckeyes have won all but two of their games by multiple scores, while Auburn's won by a single score six times (including the two luckiest, most improbable winning plays of the year). Auburn's also lost a game by 14 points. Gus Malzahn and Nick Marshall have led an immaculate rebuild, but let's not let that loss be a footnote.

So it begins. One more week. The only vital contributions to the debate going forward will be those made by the players on the field in the Big Ten and SEC championship games.

More from SB Nation college football:

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